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Why The Oil Industry’s $400 Billion Bet On Plastics Could Backfire

Why The Oil Industry’s $400 Billion Bet On Plastics Could Backfire

Scott Carpenter: Energy Sept 5, 2020Key takeaways:

  • Oil companies plan to invest $400 billion into new petrochemical plants, betting that demand for plastic will keep growing.
  • Authors of a new report say the industry and other forecasters fail to consider that large majorities favor legislation to curb plastic use and waste and that governments are acting.
  • Plastics impose a cost of $1000 per tonne — through CO2 emissions, air pollution, and collection costs. Calls to shift those costs onto producers through taxes are growing.
  • Outside experts said the long-term outlook for plastics demand remains uncertain and will depend on consumer preferences and government actions.

The COVID-19 pandemic and accelerating green growth around the world have eviscerated many of the oil industry’s dogmas: that renewables would suffer from high costs, that governments would slow-walk environmental commitments, that investors would continue to reward long-term bets on oil with generous market values.

But one nugget of wisdom has survived everything the market has thrown at it, and now oil companies like ExxonMobil and Shell are wagering billions on it: that the world’s demand for plastics is still growing, with no end in sight. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

‘War on plastic’ could strand oil industry’s £300bn investment

The Guardian: ‘War on plastic’ could strand oil industry’s £300bn investment

Major oil firms plan to grow plastic supply to counter impact of shift against fossil fuels

Jillian Ambrose: Fri 4 Sep 2020 06.00 BST

The war on plastic waste could scupper the oil industry’s multi-billion dollar bet that the world will continue to need more fossil fuels to help make the petrochemicals used in plastics, according to a new report.

Major oil companies, including Saudi Aramco and Royal Dutch Shell, plan to spend about $400bn (£300bn) to help grow the supply of virgin plastics by a quarter over the next five years, to compensate for the impact of electric vehicles and clean energy technologies on demand for fossil fuels. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Big Oil’s Petrochemical Bet Is A Risky One

Big Oil’s Petrochemical Bet Is A Risky One

By Tsvetana Paraskova – Aug 19, 2020, 5:00 PM CDT

Petrochemicals are expected to underpin global oil demand growth in the future as growth in transportation fuels demand is set to slow with the increased use of electric vehicles, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in March in its annual Oil 2020 report with projections until 2025. But are petrochemicals really profitable?

“Petrochemical feedstocks LPG/ethane and naphtha will drive around half of all oil products demand growth, helped by continued rising plastics demand and cheap natural gas liquids in North America,” the IEA said in March when the COVID-19 pandemic was already upending global oil demand growth projections for this year. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Revealed: oil giants help fund powerful police groups in top US cities

THE GUARDIAN: Big corporations accused of driving environmental and health inequalities in black and brown communities through toxic and climate-changing pollution are also funding powerful police groups in major US cities, according to a new investigation.

Some of America’s largest oil and gas companies, private utilities, and financial institutions that bankroll fossil fuels also back police foundations

Shell is one of the biggest fossil fuel companies in the world, and is currently building a huge ethane cracker plant near Pittsburgh, which advocates warn could turn Appalachia into the next so-called Cancer Alley – a corridor of Louisiana refineries, where Shell is also a major polluter. Shell is a “featured partner” of the New Orleans police foundation and a sponsor of the Houston police’s mounted patrol. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Can’t we just move helpless & hopeless Shell leaders out of the organization?

POSTING ON OUR SHELL BLOG 

In a recent town hall, the current project director of the Pennsylvania tax dodge, suggested the construction was 60% complete? WTF?

At least he is not to blame, he was saddled with the errors and over promises of AR, who landed a holding position as “VP HSE”, doing “TFA”, prior to a new position that seems also completely invented … and purposefulessness.

Can’t we just move helpless & hopeless leaders out of the organization?

Unless another senior leader is worried about his role in yet another profitless folly? read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Shell defends Pennsylvania project as outside report questions its viability

BY FRANK ESPOSITO: JAN 5, 2020

Shell Chemical says the development of a major plastics and petrochemicals complex under construction near Pittsburg remains “important”  to its overall global effort, despite a report that questioned its viability. 

In an email to Plastics News, Michael Marr, Shell business integration lead, responded by saying that Shell’s chemicals business at Monaca, PA., “enjoys strong fundamentals” and that the Pennsylvania project “is an important part of our global effort to build-out new business models that will allow Shell to participate and thrive in the energy transition.” read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

A Perfect Storm For Petrochemicals

One closely-watched project already under construction in western Pennsylvania faces heightened risk as well. Royal Dutch Shell is building a gargantuan ethane cracker in the heart of the Appalachian shale gas region… “The complex is likely to be less profitable than expected and face an extended period of financial distress.”

A Perfect Storm For Petrochemicals

The oil majors have made huge bets on plastics and petrochemicals in recent years, but those investments look increasingly shaky following the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

cna: Shell plastics plant Trump touted faces oversupply risks: Energy institute report

Shell plastics plant Trump touted faces oversupply risks: Energy institute report

(Updated: )

WASHINGTON: A massive Pennsylvania plastics project that President Donald Trump touted during a visit last year faces risks of oversupply and a low price outlook for the materials, a report by an institute that examines energy issues said on Thursday.

The Pennsylvania Petrochemical Complex plant in Beaver County, owned by Shell, has been promoted by some as an economic savior in a region still suffering from the demise of steel industry in the 1980s. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Shell To Temporarily Shut Down Construction At Cracker Plant

Andy Sheehan: March 18, 2020 at 3:59 pm

MONACA, Pa. (KDKA) – Union officials say Shell is temporarily shutting down construction at the Beaver County cracker plant after workers raised concerns related to the potential spread of coronavirus.

On Wednesday, Beaver County Commissioners called on Shell to shut down construction at the multi-billion-dollar cracker plant. Workers had complained of crowded buses and unsanitary conditions.

Workers at the construction site have been reporting a lack of progress on a laundry list of concerns related to the potential spread of COVID-19. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

FT: Surge in plastics production defies environmental backlash

At a time when the oil industry is gripped by fears that demand for petrol will collapse in an era of electric vehicles, many hydrocarbon producers are betting on petrochemicals — and in particular, plastics — to fill the gap.

in Paris: 12 Feb 2020

Along the banks of the Ohio River in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, giant cranes whir overhead as thousands of construction workers toil away at what will be one of the largest plastic factories in the world.

The multibillion dollar Royal Dutch Shell plant, on the site of an old zinc smelter in the American rust-belt, is the biggest investment in the state since the second world war…

At a time when the oil industry is gripped by fears that demand for petrol will collapse in an era of electric vehicles, many hydrocarbon producers are betting on petrochemicals — and in particular, plastics — to fill the gap. But doubts are emerging about the wisdom of a huge expansion in capacity that will leave the world awash in products that can take hundreds of years to decay. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

TIME MAGAZINE: The Reason Fossil Fuel Companies Are Finally Reckoning with Climate Change

Shell must grapple with its own existential crisis: How should a company that generates most of its profits by serving the world’s enormous appetite for oil navigate a long-term future in which shifting political and economic tides threaten to make fossil fuels obsolete?

BY JUSTIN WORLAND

A peculiar theme park in the Hague celebrates the history of the Netherlands through a series of miniature models. The Madurodam features little canals, old-fashioned windmills, tiny tulips and, amid it all, an homage to Royal Dutch Shell, the oil giant that is the biggest company in the country and, by revenue, the second largest publicly traded oil-and-gas company in the world. There’s a Shell drilling platform, a Shell gas station and a Shell natural-gas field, complete with a drilling rig. The display is at once odd–energy infrastructure in a children’s theme park–and entirely fitting: Shell has been, for decades, one of the most powerful players both in Dutch politics and on the global economic stage. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Shell uses plastic waste to produce chemicals

Perhaps Shell will be able to recycle the microplastic toxic waste from its Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex when it gets underway?

HOUSTON, Nov. 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Today Shell announced it has successfully made high-end chemicals using a liquid feedstock made from plastic waste. The technique, known as pyrolysis, is considered a breakthrough for hard-to-recycle plastics and advances Shell’s ambition to use one million tonnes of plastic waste a year in its global chemicals plants by 2025.

“This makes sense for the environment and our business,” said Thomas Casparie, Executive Vice President of Shell’s global chemicals business.  “We want to take waste plastics that are tough to recycle by traditional methods and turn them back into chemicals – creating a circle. These chemicals will meet our customers’ growing demands for high quality and sustainable products.” read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Shell petrochemical plant will erase 30 years’ worth of air quality improvements

The Shell plant will erase 30 years’ worth of air quality improvements. It will result in higher rates of respiratory disease, heart disease, asthma, lost productivity, cancer, early deaths and adverse birth outcomes…

BY MATTHEW MEHALIK, PH.D.

As people concerned about the future of the Ohio River Valley, we wish to tell President Donald Trump, who is in Pittsburgh today bowing to petrochemical interests, that petrochemical development is the wrong path for our community. Our region has battled economic disinvestment following generations of heavy industrial development with a subsequent burden of cleaning up. One of the lessons we have learned is that life and health are precious.

The Shell plant will erase 30 years’ worth of air quality improvements. It will result in higher rates of respiratory disease, heart disease, asthma, lost productivity, cancer, early deaths and adverse birth outcomes in a community with existing poor health statistics. This industry will sacrifice our health and economy in order to overproduce plastics and put our water supply at risk. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Shell Has Best Shale Strategy Of All Oil Majors

Summary

*While Chevron, Exxon, Occidental and other oil majors are eagerly ramping up shale acquisitions and production, Shell has been more reserved in this regard.

*Shale resources may help companies improve on upstream production volumes and reserves, but profitability is questionable, leading to potentially net negative trade-off for investors.

*The ethane plant in Pennsylvania is an example of Shell wisely making use of lower natural gas prices, rather than being on the upstream side, losing money.

Much has been made lately of the deep dive into shale that the likes of oil majors such as Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon (NYSE:XOM) decided to take in the past few years. A fight over Anadarko (NYSE:APC) between Chevron and Occidental (NYSE:OXY) was perhaps the most emblematic symbol of this industry-changing trend. Analysts and investors quickly jumped to the conclusion that it is imperative for all oil majors to jump in and compete with each other on acquiring and developing shale assets. Exxon and Chevron are currently planning to increase shale production to 1 mb/d each. Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) (NYSE:RDS.B) has been more timid in this regard, and given the profitability profile of the overall shale industry, I am fully satisfied with its position in this regard. Shell’s downstream investments, such as the Pennsylvania ethane plant, meant to take advantage of low shale prices, seems to make far more sense than rushing to produce the low-priced natural gas. Nor does it seem all that wise to rush to produce shale oil, which requires extremely high capital expenses to produce. Some investors may believe that it is more important to maintain reserves and production by diving into the shale patch. I personally think that it is not worth diluting Shell’s overall profitability profile by producing shale oil and gas for the sake of maintaining the company’s overall production numbers. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Shell memo sent to union leaders before an appearance by Trump warned against protests and threatened pay reduction

A memo sent to union leaders by Shell before an appearance by Donald Trump — displayed by a recipient via Twitter — warns against protests and threatens pay reduction. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

QUARTZ: Virgin plastic pellets are the biggest pollution disaster you’ve never heard of

Before plastic is made into anything else, it is made into pellets. And those pellets are leaking everywhere. When completed, the new facility will pump out 1.8 million tons (1.6 million metric tons) of plastic each year.  The vast majority of that plastic, like the vast majority of all plastic made up to now, will likely not be recycled. And it will exist virtually forever, crumbling into microplastics that show up most everywhere scientists look for them. Those small spheres, sometimes known as “nurdles,” are a massive source of plastic pollution, escaping into the environment before they have a chance to be molded into a useful shape. With roughly 22,000 nurdles per pound of plastic, the Shell plant intends to produce the rough equivalent of 80 trillion nurdles per year. As the Royal Dutch Shell plant rises in Pennsylvania, environmental groups and scientists are worried about the lack of regulation to specifically address plastic pellet pollution. (Shell did not return a request for comment.) 

By Zoë Schlanger: 19 Aug 2019

Some 30 miles north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in a township adjacent to a state forest, oil and gas giant Royal Dutch Shell is building a sprawling new plant to support what it sees as the future of its business: making millions of tons of new, virgin plastic.

US president Trump visited the facility last week, highlighting the 5,000 construction jobs it has created. The plant is just one of more than 300 new plastic facilities proposed or permitted for the US in the near future. Shell, along with other major oil and gas companies like Exxon, sees plastic as one avenue for growth as natural gas prices plummet—and, longer-term, as a way to weather the world’s slow rejection of fossil fuels as an energy source. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.
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